Dallas Opera Premieres Saga of 1996 Failed Everest Climb
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Dallas Opera Premieres Saga of 1996 Failed Everest Climb

Maxine Helfman

With last month’s captivating free-climb of one of the most treacherous sections of Yosemite’s El Capitan summit comes more proof of rock climbing’s inherent drama. It’s hardly surprising, then, that mountain scaling is the subject of the Dallas Opera’s latest premiere: Everest, a new work by British composer Joby Talbot.

With a libretto by Gene Scheer (admired for his incisive operatic adaptation of Moby-Dick), the production chronicles the ill-fated 1996 Mt. Everest expedition, whose tragic results (eight climbers died) and ensuing controversies have supplied enough drama for a bevy of best-selling books, documentaries, and films.

Overall, opera is having a fruitful season in Texas. Opera San Antonio, a resident company of the new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts that opened last fall, presents in March a double-bill of 20th-century works featuring sought-after Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci.

Fort Worth Opera, as part of its annual festival (April 24-May 10), is producing the regional premiere of contemporary opera Dog Days by David Little (based on the short story by Judy Budnitz) as part of its Frontiers series, along with repertoire favorites La Traviata and Hamlet.

Mario Mercado is the former arts editor at Travel + Leisure.

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